For the first time ever, the amount of packaging that goes into French trash cans has gone down. According to figures released by Eco-Emballages and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) the amount of packaging (expressed in sale units per consumer and not including plastic bags dispensed at the check-out) went down by 0.55 percent between 2003 and 2006. What’s behind this unprecedented decline? People are smoking and drinking less in France. Tobacco consumption is down 20 percent, wine, beer and spirits are all down 6.5 percent, 5.7 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Sales of CDs, cassettes and photo films are also down. The food industry, for its part, has made efforts to reduce the weight of its packaging. Plastic bottles, for example, are 10 grams lighter than they were in 2003 and aluminium cans are 11 percent lighter. The disappearance of plastic bags from the check-out counter has played a role too. In 2006 a total of 3.1 billion plastic bags were distributed, down 70 percent from 9.4 billion in 2003.
via Les Echos